Thursday 30 June 2022

30th June 2022

 Weather: W force 1/2 later NW in the afternoon.

Many typical midsummer records today in addition to the breeding birds doing their thing (Rock Pipits, Wrens, Blackbirds, Swallows, Linnets). A Mediterranean Gull was on the shore, while as many as 90 Sandwich Terns were seen, including a juvenile being fed near the north end. A highlight of the sea watch were 2 Harbour Porpoises, unfortunately one long dead individual was also near niffy bay. A female Peregrine flew north out to sea and a Kestrel was also logged. Some waders included 12 Curlew, 15 Turnstone and a Redshank. A Hummingbird Hawk Moth visited the thistle flowers, and there were 9 Cinnabar Moths seen while 3 Red Admirals and 2 Small Tortoiseshells represented the butterflies. A Pyramidal Orchid made a splash of colour in the rangers garden.


 Photo AS (from 1/7/22)

Friday 17 June 2022

17th June 2022

 Weather: E force 2, WNW 3 by afternoon with haze

 One member was awoken very early by a swallow constantly twittering right outside the window, (photo taken through the window). 

 When the sun shone later a Humming Bird Hawk moth fed on the Valerian. June is the best time to come across these iconic insects on the island.


Cinnanbar moths are now prolific, 23 were seen today. Just a few waders were on the shore but in addition to the 8 Turnstones and 4 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel flew by the north end.

One of the 3 Little Egrets was in the rock pools on the west side rather than in the gutter which is their usual spot.

The female Eider is still about, as were 3 Shelduck on the shore.

Photos AS

Thursday 16 June 2022

16th June 2022

 Weather: E force 2, then ENE 3 and WNW 2 in the afternoon

A flock of 8 Greylag Geese flew east in the morning, 

Other wildfowl today were 4 Shelduck, 4 male Mallard and the regular female Eider with the dodgy wing.

Five Swifts were reported today, and 7 Swallows are still here from the breeding season.

Likewise 7 Rock Pipits still grace the islands.

Two Gannets were over the sea, also 6 Sandwich Terns. A Kestrel fed on the island and there were 6 Little Egrets and 3 Grey Herons. The only waders were 200 Oystercatchers and 19 Turnstones. Insects included 12 Cinnabar Moths, a Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Red Admiral butterflies.

Photos AS

Wednesday 15 June 2022

15th June 2022

On a day with no obs members present, Matt Thomas the ranger reports that a Grey Squirrel (rare at Hilbre) was seen and photographed on the roof of the day room today.

Tuesday 14 June 2022

14th June 2022

Weather: S force 1, sunny and warm. N3 late afternoon

 A pleasent day on the island was enhanced by the finding of a juvenile Stonechat which was then ringed. The odd young Stonechat finds its way here regularly in midsummer.


Six young Linnets and a brood of Swallows were also ringed on the island today, and a Swift was seen  passing by. Seven Rock Pipits on the islands included a juvenile on Middle.

One of the Canada Geese around recently also made it on to the recording sheet when it appeared in the gutter by the obs.

 About 120 Knot flew about the north end after the tide, but few other waders are present now, so it was lucky to record 23 Turnstones and 60 Oystercatchers on the high tide.


Ten Sandwich Terns were on the sea and other records included singles of Little Egret, Grey Heron and Peregrine, and later a Kestrel turned up on the island. 

 There were a reasonable number of seals hauled out on the west hoyle bank.

 Cinnabar moths were the main insects of interest, 15 were recorded today.

Photos JE & AS

Tuesday 7 June 2022

7th June 2022

 Weather: SE force 2    mild and calm

 A relatively quiet morning was livened up when a Reed Warbler appeared in the obs garden mist net.


Reed Warbler is still a rare find at Hilbre with only about a dozen or so records to date, mostly in more recent years when they have bred more widely in northern regions of Britain. The last was in September last year, while even rarer acrocephalus species in the form of a Paddyfield and Blyth's Reed Warbler also occured here in the first week of June in 2009 and 2011 respectively. This is obviously a prime time for looking out for these related species at Hilbre. Prior to this excitement the female Eider was feeding off the west side of Middle early on. 

The group of Canada Geese are still flying about the estuary, today 3 flew east over the obs followed by another 11 that landed on the east hoyle with the Cormorants.

The ringing focus was on young Linnets which are now numerous, but only 4 however were ringed today.

Very few birds inhabited the shore at low tide and the only waders seen were a small number of Oystercatchers and a single Curlew, but a total of 15 Little Egrets was pleasing. A House Martin was heard overhead and 2 Sandwich Terns called while feeding and the Shelduck did their thing near the island.

A Jellyfish was on the shore between the islands.


Photos JE, CJ

Saturday 4 June 2022

4th June 2022

 Weather: E force 3/4

The wind was back in the east but arrivals were still scarce but 5 Swifts and 3 House Martins were welcome visitors. The female Eider was sighted again without the male, and Canada Geese continued the run of records over the last week with another 12 today. A juvenile Linnet was ringed and 2 juvenile Blackbirds and 2 juvenile Rock Pipits sighted. Apart from some Oystercatchers a Grey Plover was the only wader located today. Five Red Admirals flew and moths seen were 2 Cinnabars, a Small Square Spot, a Marbled Coronet and the larva of a Yellow-tail.

Photo SRW

Friday 3 June 2022

3rd June 2022

 Weather: W force 2       rain

Not a great deal to report on a damp morning. Mallards numbered a higher than normal 7 including a single female, and 10 Little Egrets fed around the island where a Kestrel was present. A Sandwich Tern was the sole sighting on the sea. Braving the weather were a couple of Cinnabar moths and a Red Admiral butterfly.

Thursday 2 June 2022

2nd June 2022

 Weather: ESE force 3

A very clear morning with not a cloud early on made the first visit of the summer months a relaxing event. Breeding birds were of course much to the fore with Meadow Pipits, Blackbirds, Swallows and Linnets the most noticeable.

 It was also obvious there were more young Linnets bouncing around in the paddocks this morning. A female Eider was feeding off the north end, but the male was not to be seen today.

Woodpigeons continue to make visits even though the spring is officially over, one flew about for about half hour before exiting to the south. More unseasonable arrivals were 35 Canada Geese that were calling in flight off the West Kirby shore, then 15 of them lined up to do a float passed the north end.

Mid-morning a late Willow Warbler turned up in the obs garden after being sighted on the bramble to the west of the building. There were 9 Shelduck and 2 Grey Herons, while terns did not show until the approaching tide when there were 4 Sandwich and 3 Common. No butterflies flew in the morning time, just 3 Cinnabar moths.

Photos CJ